The Great Family History Mystery
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“The Great Family History Mystery,” Friend, November 2016

The Great Family History Mystery

This was important to Grandma—we had to find it!

“Fam’ly history—I am doing it, My fam’ly history. And the love I feel when I’m doing it is very sweet to me” (Children’s Songbook, 94).

Friend Magazine, 2016/11 Nov

My family had an amazing mystery adventure in a cemetery. We felt like explorers—or detectives! We followed a map, looked for clues, and made it through lots of obstacles.

The mystery started when Grandma found a list of family members who were buried in a family cemetery. She wondered why her own grandpa wasn’t on the list.

Grandma knew he was buried there, but she had never visited the cemetery before because she lived far away.

“I wish we could help Grandma,” I said during dinner. I felt sad that Grandma couldn’t find out about her grandpa.

“I do too,” Dad said. “Maybe we can take a trip to the cemetery and find her grandpa’s headstone.”

I was excited to solve the mystery. My little brothers, Joseph, Hyrum, and Daniel were excited too!

First we had to drive a long way and do some detective work before we even found the cemetery. We stopped to ask a man if he knew where it was. Guess what! It was hidden down a road on his farm!

The cemetery was in the middle of a muddy field. It was surrounded by a cinder-block wall and covered with overgrown plants. We had to cut through vines just to open the gate.

It was like a jungle inside! Big trees filled the cemetery, and thorny vines wrapped around the headstones. We had to clear them off to read the names.

“Who is Marenda Ann Thomas Humphrey?” I asked, pulling plants off a headstone.

Dad ran over. “She’s your great-great-great grandmother!” he said. “Hopefully your great-great grandpa’s headstone is nearby.”

We looked and looked for his headstone but couldn’t find it anywhere. Mom and Dad cut and cleared vines. My brothers and I cleaned off dirt, bugs, and spider webs. It was gross! Some headstones had tipped over because tree roots grew under them. They were heavy, but we worked together to lift them up again.

We worked hard all day. When the sun was going down, Dad said it was time to go.

“I don’t think we’re going to find it today,” he said. He sounded pretty disappointed.

I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to find the headstone for Grandma.

“Let’s say a prayer,” I said.

“That’s a great idea. Heavenly Father can help us find it,” said Mom.

We said a prayer and looked one last time. Dad found a long wire and used it to poke the ground. Suddenly the wire hit something solid. Maybe a headstone?

“I think Dad found something!” I said.

We knelt down and cleared away vines and weeds. Under a thin layer of dirt, we found a headstone. The name on it was Rodolph Jackson Humphrey.

“Dad, do you know who this is?” I asked.

When I looked at Dad, he had tears in his eyes. “This is exactly what we were searching for! It’s your great-great grandpa’s headstone,” he said.

“Yay!” we all shouted.

I gave my brothers high fives. “I knew we’d find it! We just needed a little help,” I said.

Mom smiled. “That’s what prayer is for.”

It was tricky and fun searching through the cemetery. We had to overcome walls, mud, thorns, and vines. But it was all worth it to get to know more about my great-great grandpa.

I know that the Holy Ghost helped us and that Heavenly Father answered our prayer. And the best feeling of all was hearing Grandma cheer when we told her all about it.